The California Fresh Fruit Association and California Farmworker Foundation announced in a news release they have distributed more than 50,000 N-95 masks and single-use surgical masks to agricultural employees across the Central San Joaquin Valley. 

The organizations partnered with the Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner, California Department of Food and Agriculture and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Office of Emergency Services to supply the masks for agricultural employees while the air quality index is at unhealthy levels due to the California wildfires, according to the release. 

“The wellness of Central Valley agricultural employees is of paramount importance, as they are an essential part in keeping the food supply chain moving every day,” Ian LeMay, president of the California Fresh Fruit Association, said in the release. 

California Farmworker Foundation Executive Director Hernan Hernandez expressed his thanks to all the partners who contributed. “CFF’s mission is to provide support to California’s farmworkers, and having the ability to distribute these N-95 masks through our Ambassador program enables employees to stay safe while working outside,” Hernandez said in the release. 

—by Jonelle Mejica